Athletics PNG Responds

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The standoff between Athletics PNG and Toea Wisil continues as the sprint Queen responds to a media release issued by Athletics PNG.


By Toea Wisil (Pacific Sprint Queen)

》Let Me Correct You Tony Green |

Tony Green, you are trying to put me on the newspaper that I am abusing Athletes, you are wrong. You said i abused athletes to say i went against team policy. Talking about schools and what the federation is doing for these athletes. We are not talking about these things. These things are pathways which are the responsibility of the executives to keep athletes interested in the sport to produce medals. The reason why you want to put me on the media; telling I am abusing athletes is because I was defending an athlete over your authority. She came to my house crying many nights asking me why you were doing this to her. You took athletes to Port Moresby with Olympic Committee money, she ran times in Goroka and you left her out. You have airline sponsorship but coach Dior Lowry had to front his money to give her fair opportunity to run. While she stayed in Port Moresby with family to get competition opportunities on synthetic, you wanted her to go back to Goroka on grass. When she ran good times in Goroka and in Australia you give hugs in front of everyone like you support her.

At the oceania championships you pulled a local coach aside and told him to tell her to find the athlete and tell her to run with less than 20 minutes before going into the call room. I told the athlete not to run and risk injury when the Pacific Games are coming up. That athlete was trained specifically for the 4×100 relay and you pushed for her to run 4×400. She was confused but ran because you are the president.

My house at Goroka is the house of athletes when they are hungry, they ate at my house. Two years mi stap lo ples and I have been a mama to them.

Thank you for trying to make me look bad but I have been supportive of these athletes


By Athletics PNG

Athletics PNG is one of the oldest National Sports Federations in Papua New Guinea. In this long history Athletics has and continues to produce the most medals for PNG at regional competitions including Oceania Championships and Pacific Games. At the 2015 Pacific Games hosted in Port Moresby, Athletics produced 22 Gold, 19 Silver and 16 Bronze, and we plan to continue this high level of achievement in Samoa.

These achievements are built on a long term strategic philosophy and plan starting with discovering athletes, building and developing, and progressively exposing athletes to competitions, this is a journey, not one single sports event. The age of a typical track and field team range from 16 years to late-30’s and this requires careful planning and administration to prepare and manage these athletes pre and post competition.

Contrary to the message being portrayed by a couple of individuals, the team is in high spirits and really looking forward to the Pacific Games. It is most unfortunate that a small number of disaffected individuals are seeking to cause instability in the team. The question people should be asking is how on earth does an organisation like Athletics PNG that has such limited resources achieve so much. It has managed to keep a large squad of athletes together for almost nine months, feeding and housing them and even meeting school fees. It has taken 20 athletes to Thailand for competition, a total of 43 athletes to the Oceania Championships, and had the jumps squad training full time in Australia since mid may. This doesn’t just happen. Money is very hard to come by in PNG’s current economic climate and raising the funds and in kind sponsorships to carry out such programmes is extremely hard work. Coaches who spent extended periods of time Goroka reported that the athletes were very happy and the food arrangements were satisfactory thanks to generous donations from Prima Smallgoods, Trukai, Lae Biscuit and the support of the PNG Olympic Committee.

Toea Wisil only a year ago re affirmed her commitment to the values of Excellence, Friendship and respect when apologising for failing to attend the 200m medal ceremony at the 2017 Pacific Mini Games. Unfortunately, following a number of incidents this year where coaches and APNG Board Members felt disrespected and where Toea verbally abused a fellow athlete, we found it necessary to caution Toea about her behaviour.

“It is unfortunate that an incident that was best handled in-house has received much press and public discussion on social media, and the conversation does not represent by any means the full story. Athletics PNG is working closely with the PNG Olympic Committee and Team PNG for Samoa to sort out misunderstandings,” says APNG President, Tony Green.

“We are not above criticism and are working through a plan to ensure that all our athletes are respected and are in a good frame of mind as they prepare for success at Samoa. Many of our senior athletes, including Toea Wisil have had distinguished careers and we want her and her colleagues to be remembered for their remarkable achievements, not controversy, which only serves to detract from their stories.

“We urge all Papua New Guineans to support the team at this time and avoid any negativity. All athletes should focus 100% on achieving their performance goals at the Games and deal with any complaints at the right time and through the correct channels. The bottom line is that there must be respect for authority and no individual is bigger than the sport itself.

On behalf of Athletics PNG
Tony Green President